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Abe, Biden agree on importance of deepening Japan-U.S. alliance

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Vice President Joe
Biden agreed Thursday on the importance of continuing to deepen the
bilateral alliance, the White House said.
Biden, who will leave office on Jan. 20, called Abe to "express
gratitude for his leadership and friendship over the last several
years," it said in a statement.
The outgoing vice president and Abe "praised the strength of the
U.S.-Japan alliance, which serves to increase stability, prosperity
and security in the region and around the globe," it said.
Biden commended the two countries' initiatives with South Korea
to address regional and global issues, including coordinated efforts
to counter the growing threat of North Korea over its missile and
nuclear weapons development.
The leaders also said U.S. President Barack Obama's historic
visit last May to Hiroshima, a western Japan city devastated by the
U.S. atomic bombing in 1945, and Abe's trip in December to Pearl
Harbor, the site of Japanese attacks on a U.S. base in 1941,
demonstrated the value of reconciliation, according to the Japanese
government. (Jan. 5)